June 23-24, 2007, weekend
June 26, 2007

June 25, 2007

IS A PROFIT WITHOUT HONOR?

Should businesses use religion to increase profits? This report suggests it's happening. Where would you draw the line?

* * *

GOD'S BLACK HOLES?

I used to write a lot about science. I have always been especially engaged by cosmology -- the big picture -- and subatomic physics -- the very tiny picture.

StarsBut now that I focus nearly all my writing efforts on religion and ethics, I find I don't get to follow scientific developments the way I used to.

But today I'm making an exception because the news about black holes from Case Western Reserve University makes me marvel again at the incredible mysteries of the universe. I wish it were possible to make a case for God's existence that no one would dispute simply by looking at the cosmos, but that almost certainly would box in God in inappropriate ways.

Still, to me at least, the patterns and cycles, the order and complexity of it all speaks of something larger than the human mind can imagine.

Case Western Reserve physicists have been studying the phenomenon of black holes and have concluded, as the press release says, that there is "nothing there." That is, some black holes may have been created at the start of time but they simply cannot be created now "because the black hole evaporates before anything is seen to fall in," says one of the scientists. Masses on the edge of what appear to be black-holes-in-proccess-of-formation never cross what is called the "event horizon," so black holes don't really get created.

Well, all this is far beyond my meager scientific background, but I still am in love with the idea that all kinds of otherwise-rational people spend their careers looking at such mysteries and trying to make sense of them all.

Maybe black holes "aren't," but our minds "are," and I believe God gave them to us partly to try to appreciate the art that is the cosmos.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.

Comments

Dolores Lear

When High Tech Science is understood completely, we know a Sun can burn it's fuel, collapse and die and become invisible. The elements are still there.
We know the Sun is part of a Galaxy, and when enough Sun's die, the Imbalance of elements will cause a Galaxy to die, collapse and become invisible. The elements are still there.
We know a Galaxy is part of a Universe, and when enough Galaxies die, the Universe will collapse, and become inviible, but the elements are still there. This is then a large Black Hole in Space but the elements are still there.

Space is black except where the light of Universes are seen, but the Original elements remain and the collapsed elements. They regenerate and re-explode into another visible Universe.
The only Way to see a Universe with Galaxies and Solar Systems, is when the light elements are visible.
I am not sure if this is called a Steady State theory, but to me since our High Tech Science knows Suns, Galaxies and Universes collapse, which they call Black Holes where the light of a Universe used to be seen.
There are terms Quarks, Quassars, Pullsars, and other terms to explain all these phenomenon.
Back in the 1960, 70s, and 80s, when Carl Sagan, Issac Asimov, and others explained the Universe on TV and in books, it was very enlightening. Bill Nye, the Science Guy had a Children's Show also.

I accept the Black Holes in Space, explains the Hell references in the Christian Bible.
Why all this Science education disappeared, I do not know, but all we hear and see on TV today, is killing and war, pleasure sex soap operas and movies, the Gay movement, materialism, divorce, born again religion, misbehaving movies stars, billionaires, child killers, and crime, crime, and crime.
Today we do not hear about this type of Science anymore. There were many television shows to explain all about the elements that make up Atom Life as we know it.

Then along come me, to say the Bible is the record of High Tech Science, that was given to me during the days that High Tech Science was being explained. Instead of being interested in High Tech Science anymore, and since we took our High Tech resources, and went into Nuclear bombs and weapons of mass destruction, Science and Religon became opposite poles.

Now that we are about to blow up our planet, with all our High Tech Science that is used for Killing, and our space projects do not have the funding, Flesh Lust in all phases is rampant upon our Home Spaceship Planet.

But the God of the Christian Bible, and all religions, our High Tech Ancestors and Jesus, will still rescue the ones left before the Planet Burns Up with with all our waste pollution, nuclear pollution, global warming, and breaking of our Ozone Canopy, the last prevention Canopy to keep the ultraviolet rays of the Sun to reach the surface of Earth. Then Life as we know it cannot exist.

Thanks Bill for your Blog, and the patience all of you bloggers have given me, that helps give me new ideas to on how to express the information given me, to understand High Tech Science and Religion are about the same Physical Life and High Tech we know about today, and as it was 'in the beginning'.
People today, do not get the High Tech Science education we had in the late 1900s, and it was not connected to the Christian Bible.
For me, the Bible is the Code Book, for the complete 'literal' history of Life on Earth, from Colonization to the End Times Planetary Judgement Day Fire.

Dolores Lear

I did not read the article on Black Holes first. So.

The article says gravity pulling masses together, still hold true.

I accept that only the elements of one Universe, will be pulled into its Black Hole, not other elements outside a Universe's outer limits. It's elements collapse it does not pull elements or other Universes. Just like when a Sun collapses it does not pull other Suns into its core.

Dolores Lear

Patricia.

I found when you post 1 comment you do 1 set of little letters. When you post a 2nd article in a rwo, you post 2 sets of little letters.

Dolores Lear

Patricia.
I realized after I posed that your knew that.
Your remark was very amusing though.
Your humor here lately is very timely, since Keith stopped posting his humor.

Joe Barone

I'd bet that when Starbucks quotes scripture on its coffee cups it doesn't quote all those passages from Leviticus which say you're supposed to put the blood of an animal on the earlobe of the priest. Selective quoting of Scripture is meaningless. Used for profit, it is gratuitous as well.

Dolores Lear

Jesus of Nazareth By Pope Benedict XVI.
"The Beautitudesz"
"The beatitudes are promises resplendent with the new image of the world and of man inaugurated by Jesus, his "transformation of values".

This transformation is Pure-bred Humans like Our High Tech Ancestors, the Adam and Eve Colony and Jesus. Maybe there were more that were Saved in the past like Jesus was, and went up into Space, but we cannot understand the other writings as High Tech writings, as we can about Jesus.

"The second Beautitude listed in Matthew's Gospel, is closely connected with the first: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Mt 5:5). Some tranlations render the Greek word 'praus' as "nonvolent" rather than "meek"."

Non-violent works better for me when I say Humans should be non-violent Pure-bred Caretakers Humans, not Mis-bred Killer Humans. Jesus had this High Tech Pure-bred Knowledge also. All the ways we use 'Pure' can be understood about Asexual/Celibate Pure-bred Humans.

People that do not Kill are not meek, in the way we think of meek in a Body Birth Society, but are non-violent.
It depends on our Genetic makeup of good and evil genes, and our environment into which we are born, whether we will be non-violent or killers.
No one get a choice in Body Birth, as to the genetic makeup they receive at Birth nor the environment where we are born and raised.
Equal Sharing of our Daily Needs and No Killing, like Jesus taught and practiced, is the Only Way to change this Fallen Lifestyle.
Then we can get busy with our High Tech to change the genetic code for the Killers and violent people first, because of their environment, to Pure-bred Genetic Humans. Then change non-violent people, to Pure-bred, so all will be Pure-bred Caretakers as it was 'in the beginning'.

I know this sounds like Science Fiction, but that is what our High Tech Ancestors and Jesus will do when they return to save the new group, to Colonize the new Planet they have Colonized like they did Earth. I hope the new Colony will have the Earth experience, to know to die if necessary, than to start Body Birth again, and ruin another Creation of Life on a Planet. They know they can Live Again, with High Tech reproduction of their stored genes.
The Dead can be made Alive with High Tech Genetics.

All these teachings in the religions of Fallen Mis-bred Humans, is a Fact for Pure-bred Humans.

Dave Miller

Bill, you wrote: "Maybe black holes "aren't," but our minds "are," and I believe God gave them to us partly to try to appreciate the art that is the cosmos."

Yep. Here's a nice little quote of Pascal's which I've appreciated...

“By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; [but] by thought I comprehend the world.”
Pascal, Pensees

Patricia

Nice quote, Dave.

I do think there's a difference between gratuitous and evangelical. I would characterize a Biblical quote on a Starbucks cup(although I realize the article didn't imply that this was the case) as gratuitous. The McDonald's owner and the Hobby Lobby founder seem driven by their own passions for their religion.

It's the difference between a PR ploy and genuine. When you don't want to be evangelized, even on a subliminal level with old timey hymns, then you don't go to Hobby Lobby.

I had far more problem with that organization's initial passionate support for the Iraq War and connecting that support with religion. I chose not to spend my money there.

Incidentally, when you live in the South and contract work with these companies, you get used to the fact that there is often "prayer before projects". That creates its own moral dilemma. Because they never just do a silent prayer that allows participants to pray from their personal religious base. It's an assumption that everyone either is or should be evangelical.

Dave Miller

"Nice quote, Dave."

Thanks, Patricia! I collect 'em!

(I haven't had many original thoughts in my lifetime, but I can recognize a good one when I see one.)

Dave Miller

The McDonald's at 47th and Cottage Grove in Chicago broadcasting Gospel music strikes me as waaay different culturally than broadcasting it in the local Hobby Lobby.

I used to go to grad school near 47th and Cottage Grove. That's the south side, where a man name of Leroy Brown lives. Meaner that a junk yard dog, that guy. It's no surprise to me to read that the crime rate in the neighborhood has gone down as the profits have risen along with the Gospel music.

The owner says the neighborhood is the birth place of Gospel music. Indeed, this is where Barak Obama came to Jesus.

That McDonalds is sending multiple messages to the community with its Gospel music...including one of pride in the community...and it seems to be working on multiple levels. Not a bad thing, I'd say.

ThePriest

Dear Delores:
A large % of stars are binary or multiple system with smaller stars in orbit. There are many images of collapsed stars (neutron stars) sucking unimaginable quanities of matter and energy from its circling neighbors. This results in the emission of high energy X-Rays or "pulses" shot out like a lighthouse lamp as the dieing star rotates at incredable speeds. Hence the name for them is "Pulsars". So yes nutron stars can and do capture star stuff and eventually the core of the two/three stars merge.

Patricia, I have heard many "prayer before projects" with my own government contractors, and in the military. I have never heard once anything unchristian or over the top theological said. These prayers do follow a general seven step pattern:

1. An invocation: ie "Almighty God, LORD, etc)
2. A thanksgiving for the event being made possible.
3. A few words for the safety and well being of them involved and appeal of blessing upon them, meeting special needs and concerns.
4. A few words asking the project to glorify God.
5. A request that regardless of what happens the LORD's will be done.
6. A benediction: ie. In Jesus Name pray.
7. An affirmation: ie Amen.

I am unaware how these prayers are morally problematic or unscriptural. I think your issue Patricia your fuss is with style rather than substance, and have bias against:
1. Southerners
2. Worship that everyone can see
3. Evangelical speaking style
4. People who tend to drawl
5. Men that comb their hair back like Evis or Used Car Salesmen.
6. Christians that pray different from you would personally pray.
AND/OR
7. The concept of moral and spiritually grounded business Leadership.

Explain it to me: Why is so horrible for one to express his/her heartfelt thoughts through there own southern evangelical cultural way?

Patricia

There's nothing horrible about the praying and I don't think that's what I indicated. I found these prayers to be a lot more like sermons than like the prayers that you're outlining. I've also participated in those. I don't think that when you agree to work for someone, it means that you are agreeing to being evangelized, unless that is spelled out upfront. And it was never indicated in the contract or before a contract was signed. It still was never that big a deal for me. It was for some of my employees.

The moral dilemma for me is that I participated in their prayers and listen to the sermons out of respect for their beliefs and practices. I am uncomfortable with feeling like I may be fooling someone by making it seem that I am of the same belief system that they are, when I am not, if I don't speak up but just quietly participate. I am not a Trinitarian. Neither am I "Jesus-centric" in my beliefs. Bottom line is that I am not an evangelical or traditional Christian.

ThePriest

Pat: I am making the point that indeed, there are large tracts of this nation that have a predominate Evangelical southern flavored culture, and why is it bad that its people express themselves in a way that reflects who they are?

Having served as an officer of the government around the world, I have found "prayer before projects" universal. For example, I have participated in such events in Japan, where a Shinto Priest blesses a US naval vessel before USNSY Yokasuka worked on it, or blesses a construction site of a new US military facility or bldg. I am not a Shinto, but I did recognise God works in His way, not mine, to all His children. Some may say I was doing pagan worship and am dammed forever, I say only God knows what is in a man's heart.

I sure would like to know what exactly was said in these "sermonettes" that made you uncomfortable that was immoral or unethical...

Patricia

I'm not sure how you've gotten to "immoral or unethical" from what I've said.

Again, you've described a number of situations where there is simply prayer offered from a different religion. But this isn't the same as having someone from a different religion trying to convert their co-workers. I find that goes beyond simply "expressing cultural differences". And may I say that when part of my job and pay is as ambassador to a foreign land, there are different built-in expectations and requirements than when I am simply doing a job that doesn't have the ambassador status built into it.

I believe that there's a certain disrespect built into being evangelized. Evangelicals normally come from the stance that their religion is "right" and yours is "wrong".

This dynamic does nothing to enhance a work situation.

ThePriest

Pat: Thank you for responding. As a former minister for Campus Crusade for Christ (the same start for Billy Graham), you may not realize that many Evangelicals believe that them without a personal relationship with Christ are without hope of Salvation. If you are not saved and they failed to witness to you when Christ had given them the opertunity their own salvation may be for forfeit. To them the situation is serious as Hell. Even if they believe in "once saved always saved" without exception, they worry about unsaved co-workers that they care for going to Hell. It is a complete mystery to them that anyone refuse Christ's free and irristiable gift of grace, so...they can't give up.

It is woven into the fabric of their regenerated life, family, community, and region and thus gives them a unque and distictly American part of southern culture, that like it or not, is protected speech, and is an part of sharied identity, that deserves respect, because at least God is respected.

Unfortately, Evangelical "high ground" is more complex than that their faith is right and yours is wrong, its more like heavensent vs. damned.

What I find funny is despite a ministry of service and the word for 35 years much of it under extraordinary circumstances that most folks can only read about, in which I have never condemned a single soul, I have been damned and held in contempt by fellow Christians in a such a number it may be easier to count the grains of sand in the Missouri river. I have never once been told "your salvation is sure" or even I was a blessing to others (being a minister can be thankless job). I have never been personally condemned by a person of non-christian religion, even though I had deserved being told-off.

In light of this, I must say Christ's grace appearently is not the monoply of the Christians. I would also hazard a guess that I am not the only Christian that has had the experence of being told over and over and over by self appointed experts that the assumed and default forever setting on his\her Salvation switch is always says "damned".

SC in KC

Regarding honor in profit...

There is a business headquartered in Overland Park, KS, that is VERY profitable. It focuses purely on Christian ministry, and is growing at an amazing rate by any standard. You may have heard of this company, as it can be found at 92.3 on the FM dial.

Bott Radio Network, owned by Dick Bott and run by his son, Richard Bott, delivers a great product and, consequently, enjoys a great market share of the Christian broadcasting market. They provide a wonderful selection of broadcasts that edify and inform their audience. They also take very good care of their employees and their families.

However, this profit comes with a healthy measure of responsibility and accountability. Ministry broadcasters must meet stringent guidelines for financial transparency. If you aren't willing to open your books to careful scrutiny, you're not going on the air. Likewise, advertisements are carefully vetted before airing. The cost of turning some broadcasters or advertisers away contrasts with the benefit of business above reproach.

If a business owner wishes to be a witness, let him or her do so in word AND deed. Let every aspect of their business reflect the righteousness of God, and the generosity of His grace. That's no more or less a standard than any Christian is called to uphold.

SC in KC

P.S.

All those profits go back into the ministry.

Patricia

I do realize the motivation behind evangelizing. But I think that there's an important question to be answered here that has to do with the rights of and a basic respect for the person being evangelized.

This is, indeed, about YOUR beliefs and YOUR need to evangelize and YOUR judgment that someone else needs to change their life.

To be honest, when the argument is presented that it's all about saving my soul, I immediately think of the fact that this was also the motivation behind the Inquisition. We're going to stretch you on racks and burn you at the stake because WE must save your soul. It's only your pain and life, which means nothing to us, in the schema of our personal beliefs.

The question becomes what part of my person or time or life does someone else have the right to violate or even more gently appropriate and in what way?

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